First year conventions are always exciting, and Northwest Comic Fest’s inaugural year is already jam packed with more events than I could ever hope to attend on my own. In my books, having conflicting events is a sign of one heck of a cool convention. Glancing over Northwest Comic Fest’s schedule, I’m already having to pick and choose what I’m going to attend and miss. I’ve got the highlights for you below and there’s definitely a little something for everyone. So if you find yourself in Salem, OR this weekend (August 15th and 16th) don’t miss out on what’s bound to be a fantastic show.

Friday 8/14

I’ll be checking out the Northwest Comic Fest Kickoff Party at Vagabond Brewing. The party starts at 9pm and everyone is encouraged to come in costume. Drink, eat, be merry.

There’s also an extensive Film Festival schedule available for anyone wanting to get a jump start on convention festivities.

Saturday 8/15

In Panel Room 1, the theme is “Hero Training,” and there’s going to be a lot of events related to it. The one to look out for? Martial Arts Training with the Red Ranger himself Steve Cardenas. It will run from 2:30-3:30pm.

12:30-1:00 there’s going to be a hero training session for the kiddos, which should be fun for the whole family.

1:30-2:30, right before special guest Steve Cardenas takes the room, there will be a beginner’s fencing class.

6:30-7:30 in Panel Room 1 there will be a prop making tutorial session.

In Panel Room 2, our friends from Blood & Gourd (check out their Kickstarter HERE) will be joining with some folks from Insane Comics to talk about what it is like to be involved in the local indie comic scene. You can catch them from 2pm-3pm.

1:00-2:00 you can attend a tutorial for creating a basic anime face. Wow your friends with your newfound artistic skill.

7pm-8pm, stick around to see a panel about cosplay and Skyrim if you’re not planning on getting an early start on the downtown pub crawl.

In Panel Room 3, from 5:00-6:00 there’s going to be a valuable panel on the importance of networking in the industry led by Adam Gallardo and K. D. Morey.

11:30-12:30 there will be a chance to create a comic strip with Ted Bergeron.

4:00-5:00 all the aspiring artists in Salem and the surrounding areas can get a crash tutorial in utilizing copic markers.

And of course, once again, there’s an amazing Film Festival schedule available and it includes my good friend Justin Zimmerman‘s Salem premiere of his short film The Man Who Loved Flowers.

Sunday 8/16

In Panel Room 1, there’s only one panel on Sunday for the kids and there is going to be a puppeteer! Carolyn Parker and her good friend Amelia Airheart Monkey will be dazzling audiences from 12-1pm.

In Panel Room 2, from 2:00-3:00 there will be a crash course in self publishing with the mind behind Warrior Innkeeper Creative.

1:00-2:00 Bob Foster and Keith Tucker will be discussing their careers in the world of cartoons.

In Panel Room 3, Mr. Justin Zimmerman will be giving a talk on creating, supporting, and kickstarting comics from 12:00-1:00 which I definitely plan to attend.

2:00-3:00 the Zombie Cagefighter himself Nathan Quarry will discuss his career and give tips and tricks for aspiring comic book nerds.

Finally, Sunday wraps up from 3:00-4:00 with a conversation about being a stunt person in the industry.

At 2:30, over at the Film Festival, the winners will be announced and there will be an awards ceremony.

You can find the full panel schedule HERE, the Film Festival schedule HERE, and the Music Festival lineup HERE.

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